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Quillin analyzes Canelo vs. Golovkin

Canelo Alvarez Gennady Golovkin Peter Quillin Canelo vs. Golovkin


By Dan Ambrose: Middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin’s constant pressure of being in front of his opponents at all times is what could cause Saul “Canelo” Alvarez problems on September 16th more so than GGG’s power, says former 160 pound champion Pete Quillin. Golovkin and Quillin sparred with each other in the past.

Quillin says what made Golovkin so hard to deal with during the sparing session was how he was always in front of him at all times, pressuring him. Quillin says the pressure was more of an issue than the power on Golovkin’s shots. Quillin feels that Canelo, 26, has improved a lot since his loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2013, which is why he’s finally been allowed to fight Golovkin by his promoters at Golden Boy.


Quillin thinks that Canelo incorporated some of the things from Mayweather’s game into his own fighting style. Quillin points out that Canelo was using the shoulder roll in his last fight against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on May 6th. He thinks Canelo looked spectacular in that fight. However, Canelo was facing a guy that looked weight drained, over-the-hill and totally reluctant to back in Chavez Jr.

Based on how Golovkin struggled against Danny Jacobs in beating him by a close 12 round unanimous decision on March 18, Quillin says Canelo has a heck of a chance at beating Golovkin. However, Quillin points out that just because Canelo looked great against Chavez Jr. and Golovkin had problems against Jacobs doesn’t mean that Canelo will beat Golovkin. It just means the two of them had different types of opponents. Jacobs is on another level compared to Chavez Jr., who was always a flawed fighter.

“If you look at Canelo’s last fight [against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.], he looked spectacular, and you look at Gennady Golovkin, it was not the performance that fans were looking for,” said Quillin to Fighthype in analyzing the September 16th Canelo vs. Golovkin fight. “If we judge them on that, I’d say Canelo has got a big chance, but that’s not how boxing works. It’s about this fight. This is a real challenge against a really skillful defensive boxer in Canelo against a powerhouse. He [Golovkin] dropped Danny, but Danny got back up and fought on. So that lets you know that not everybody can get knocked out,” said Quillin.

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Canelo had the perfect opponent in front of him to look good against. Let’s be honest about that. Golden Boy promotions lined Canelo up with an opponent in Chavez Jr. that had seen better days in his career. It was a glorified showcase fight for Canelo, with a high price tag on HBO PPV. Sticking Canelo in with a past his best Chavez Jr. and asking boxing fans to pay to see it on HBO PPV, it was just bad news. I think it was a wrong-headed idea, because anyone could see that it was going to be a bad product for the fans.

If you want to increase Canelo’s brand, you don’t fish for over-the-hill fighters with meager skills and then ask the boxing public to pay to see those kinds of fights. We’ve seen quite a bit of that with Canelo, unfortunately. Instead of Golden Boy matching Canelo against the best like Jermall Charlo, Jermell Charlo, Demtrius Andrade, Golovkin and Danny Jacobs, we’ve seen them put him in with Chavez Jr., James Kirkland, Liam Smith, Amir Khan and Alfredo Angulo.


If you know nothing about boxing, you’d see Canelo’s fights against those guys and conclude that he’s the greatest fighter in the sport today. Canelo is obviously not the best. If he was, he wouldn’t have lost to Floyd Mayweather Jr., and he wouldn’t have been given controversial wins over Erislandy Lara and Austin Trout.

Canelo is a good basic fighter, who arguably been steered around the more talented guys like the Charlo brothers, Lara, Jacobs, Golovkin and Andrade. Why didn’t Golden Boy match Canelo against those fighters? Do they know something the fans don’t know? It looks to me like Canelo has been matched to make him look better than he actually is.

”Canelo, the way he’s built, he’s built like a little tank,” said Quillin. ”I think he absorbs a little bit more punches and shots than any other fighter that Triple G has faced,” said Quillin.

I disagree with Qullin’s belief that Canelo takes a punch better than other fighters. I saw Canelo get buzzed in the Kirkland fight and Jose Miguel Cotto fights. Canelo hasn’t fought a lot of punchers during his career. The only guys with any power that Canelo has fought were Kirkland, Kermit Cintron, Alfredo Angulo and Miguel Cotto. Angulo was too slow to land much of anything against Canelo. Cintron and Kirkland were knocked out quickly before they’d landed more than a handful of their power shots. Cotto was mostly boxing Canelo from the outside instead of punching. The big weight advantage that Canelo had over Cotto in that fight seemed to help him absorb the Puerto Rican’s punches during the fight.

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“It’s hard to pick a winner in boxing,” said Quillin in analyzing the Canelo vs. Golovkin fight. “I don’t think power is the thing. t’s him being in front of you,” said Quillin in describing how Golovkin pressures his opponents and is always there in front of them at all times. “I was like. ‘Damn, this guy is always in front of me all the time, no matter what I do,’” said Quillin in talking about his previous sparring session with Triple G I the past. “So when you get a boxer vs. a puncher, a straight brawler, that’s the pressure of the fight. The pressure of the fight is a boxer being able to stay on top with his boxing ability, compared to a brawler, who’s got to come and try and knock the boxer out. That’s a very frustrating thing to watch. It’s not like two brawlers that are going to make for a spectacular fight or two boxers looking graceful, creating art,” said Quillin.

Canelo is not a great boxer. He’s more of a brawlier. Canelo does better when his opponents come at him and trade power shots with him. Canelo likes to answer back with his left hooks. But if Canelo into a back and forth trading war with Golovkin, I don’t think it’s going to end well for Canelo, because he’s not a huge puncher at 160. We saw that against Chavez Jr. Canelo can throw fast shots back, but they lack power. Canelo is a good – but not great – puncher at 154.

Jermall Charlo and Julian Williams were far better punchers at 154 than Canelo in my opinion. But in moving up to 160, Canelo takes the back seat in the power department against guys like Golovkin, Danny Jacobs, Ryota Murata, Curtis Stevens and David Lemieux. Those guys are all clearly bigger punchers than Canelo. Golovkin is going to have a BIG advantage over Canelo if the two of them get in a back and forth trading war where both guys take turns nailing each other with their best shots. Canelo can’t afford to do fight that way against GGG. Further, cannot afford to let the fight be dictated from the outside, because Golovkin will out-box him with his jab.

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Canelo’s only chance of beating Golovkin is for him to outwork him with his hand speed. Jacobs was trying to do that in the second half of their fight last March, but he was almost knocked out in the 10th. That was with Golovkin boxing Jacobs and not slugging. Jacobs was stunned with one of the few big power shots that Golovkin hit him with in the 10th. Golovkin won the 12th, but the judges gave the round to Jacobs. Thankfully, that wasn’t the deciding round, because we would have had a robbery.

“Canelo kind of took something from the Mayweather fight, and brought it into his last fight with his defense and rolling of the shoulder,” said Quillin about Canelo’s recent May 6th fight against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. “He’s grown older every day that we speak,” said Quillin about Canelo improving his game from fight to fight. “I think he’s gotten a lot better. This is why the fight has been made,” said Quillin in explaining why Golden Boy Promotions has finally allowed Canelo to face Golovkin after stalling for the past 2 years.

Quillin needs to look back to Canelo’s fight with Austin Trout in 2013 to see that he was already using the shoulder roll even then. Canelo didn’t change his fighting style after the Mayweather fight. He was fighting that way already. The shoulder roll doesn’t seem to work for Canelo, because he gets hit with straight right hands. Canelo would be better off forgetting about trying to mimic Mayweather’s fighting style, and focus on just keeping his hands up to protect his head. However, Canelo seems to have problems taking body shots. Trout had Canelo hurt with a shot to the body, and Liam Smith hurt him with a body shot as well. If Golovkin goes to the body on September 16, he’ll give Canelo problems and likely will knock him out.

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